Food loads risk being turned away at border

Grazeley, Reading, UK: The Cold Chain Federation is warning that food loads arriving at the border without the right paperwork risk being turned away from next week.

Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Federation, made the remarks about growing concerns about border congestion, to Ian King at Sky News.

Brennan also spoke to the Today programme on Radio 4 about trade flows. “There is growing unease about how delays and turn backs could escalate in coming days. Our plea to the EU authorities is keep being pragmatic and working with traders.”

An article on the BBC website highlights the fact that Irish customs have allowed a temporary relaxation Brexit paperwork rules because of the current backlogs at ports.

Meanwhile, a Guardian writer who went to Calais for a report on Brexit, found out that although traffic was still “way down” with 90% of trucks complaint, vehicles without the correct and fully completed documents were held for “hours and hours” with one British lorry driver stuck for 24 hours.

And a Bloomberg article has warned that, with traffic expected to pick up in coming days, Britain faces the first major test of Brexit readiness.

Rod McKenzie, policy director at the Road Haulage Association, said that the current low volumes were the “lull before the storm”.

And RHA spokesperson Paul Mummery said: “We are not trying to be doom-mongers, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

 “The volumes for import export are at the lowest point in the year anyway, and it is probably even quieter than usual, because the feedback we are getting from the industry is that firms were stockpiling before the Brexit deadline.

“When volumes of freight movement get back to normal levels, and they are set to start rising from next week, we will start seeing the real extent of the impact this red tape is having on industry and businesses.

“Everyone thought it was going to go wrong day one, but it’s going to happen later.”

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